- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Song flap settled

Sen. John McCain and the Republican Party are apologizing to rocker Jackson Browne for using one of his songs during last year’s presidential campaign, Associated Press reports.

The Republican Party also is vowing to get artists’ permission before using their work in future political campaigns.

The apology and pledge were released Tuesday along with the announcement of a settlement with Mr. Browne over a federal copyright-infringement lawsuit filed in Los Angeles. Mr. Browne sued Mr. McCain and the national and Ohio Republican parties last year for using his song “Running on Empty” to mock Democrat Barack Obama in a Web ad.

Financial details of the settlement weren’t disclosed, AP said.

The statement said Mr. McCain didn’t know about the ad, which was created by the Ohio Republican Party and removed after Mr. Browne complained.

Charges dropped

Disorderly conduct charges filed against one of the nation’s pre-eminent black scholars have been dropped, Reuters news agency reported Tuesday.

Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, 58, was arrested Thursday after what police described as “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior,” including accusing police of racism.

Boston’s WHDH-TV, quoting unidentified sources, said all charges would be dropped, Reuters reports.

Mr. Gates — director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research and host of several acclaimed PBS specials, including “African American Lives” and “Looking for Lincoln” — was arrested at his home in Cambridge, Mass., police said.

According to published accounts, a woman had reported a man was trying to force open the home’s door. A statement from Mr. Gates’ lawyer, Charles Ogletree, released late on Monday said the professor was unable to enter his damaged front door after returning from a trip to China.

Mr. Ogletree, a Harvard Law School professor, said Mr. Gates then entered through the rear door and his driver carried in his luggage. Mr. Ogletree said Mr. Gates showed his Harvard identification and driver’s license to a policeman who arrived at his home. Mr. Gates asked the policeman for his name and badge number. The police officer walked away, and when Mr. Gates followed him to the porch, he was arrested, Mr. Ogletree’s statement said.

The police report said Mr. Gates initially refused to provide identification and after the officer explained he was investigating a reported break-in, shouted, “This is what happens to black men in America.”

Actor sentenced

Jamie Waylett, who plays Harry Potter bully Vincent Crabbe, must serve 120 hours of community service after admitting to growing 10 cannabis plants in his mother’s London home, says EWOnline.com, citing a report from BBC News.

The 20-year-old actor was sentenced in the Westminster Magistrates Court. He was arrested earlier this month after police found pictures of the plants on his camera after stopping him for taking snapshots of officers while driving past.

Tyler’s treat

Tyler Perry is paying for 65 children from a Philadelphia day camp to go to Walt Disney World after reading reports that a suburban swim club banned them.

The black and Hispanic children who attend the day camp run by Creative Steps Inc. cheered Monday when they learned about the actor-director’s gift, Associated Press reports.

Creative Steps director Alethea Wright says she’s thrilled about the offer, especially because Mr. Perry “comes from humble beginnings” like the children in her camp.

The Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley has maintained that refunding the camp’s swimming fee was not about race but rather a safety issue, in part because many of the children couldn’t swim.

Mr. Perry is best known for his signature character Madea, a bighearted but foul-tempered grandmother.

Ekberg hospitalized

Anita Ekberg, 77, the Swedish-born film star who famously frolicked in the Trevi fountain in “La Dolce Vita,” has been admitted to a hospital in Rome, Agence France-Presse says.

Miss Ekberg, who has lived in Italy for many years, was checked into the San Giovanni hospital, said an official in its neurosurgery department who declined to give details.

The actress, a one-time Miss Sweden, broke into movies in Hollywood in the 1950s but enjoyed her greatest role in “La Dolce Vita” in 1960, in which director Federico Fellini cast her as Marcello Mastroianni’s unattainable love interest, Sylvia Rank, an American actress.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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